March 11, 2014, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – When gut-check time came, the Edmonton Oil Kings locked it down. The Oil Kings (48-18-2-1) survived a defensive chessmatch Wednesday night to down the Kootenay Ice (39-26-2-2) 1-0 at Rexall Place in a game that, with just four left in the regular season, had a postseason atmosphere.
“I thought today’s game was pretty close to a playoff game,” said Oil Kings forward Reid Petryk. “A 1-0 that was always fun and exciting.”
Tristan Jarry made 20 saves for his eighth shutout of the season, standing tall in the Oil Kings net through a pair of third-period power plays as the Ice pressed to tie.
“Unbelievable,” said Petryk of Jarry’s performance. “He’s obviously a great goalie … but I thought he played one of his best games of the year.”
“One was enough tonight, and I thought Tristan Jarry was outstanding,” Laxdal added.
Henrik Samuelsson scored the lone goal for Edmonton, the only player to convert on the game’s few chances, as he was set up by Petryk and Cody Corbett. The assist leaves Corbett tied for the Oil Kings franchise record for career points by a defenceman at 125 with Mark Pysyk.
Mackenzie Skapski had 29 saves in a losing effort for the Ice as Edmonton outshot Kootenay 30-20 and 15-8 in the third period.
“We had to battle for everything we got,” added Laxdal.
“We need to bottle up that formula and take it into Medicine Hat tomorrow night.”
The win means the Oil Kings stay atop the WHL Eastern Conference, tie with Calgary with 99 points but having both a game in hand and the tiebreaker between the two teams.
The Oil Kings will use that game in hand Wednesday night as they travel to Medicine Hat to face the Tigers. Any combination of two Oil Kings wins Hitmen regulation losses will secure first place for Edmonton.